The rise of the modern practice of mindfulness into the field of therapy has posed a conundrum for many Catholics who want the therapy, but without the Buddhist roots. What are their options and how do they find them?
BD writes: “I have repeatedly asked my therapist to find something other than mindfulness to help me with my anxiety issues. But he insists that this therapy has no Buddhist roots (even though he admits that it is based on the MBSR) and has been secularized. Is this true?”
One of the best things about the Women of Grace® New Age Q&A Blog, which has been answering questions for nearly a decade from people all around the world, is that it keeps our “finger” on the pulse of what’s happening in the realm of spiritual movements. And one of those “happenings” is a course called Catholic Mindfulness by Dr. Gregory Bottaro which has now been made into a book. What is this all about? Is it really Catholic? And why are so many people concerned about it?
BD writes: “Help! My psychologist insists that I use mindfulness to treat my PTSD and he claims it isn’t Buddhist. He says it’s just teaching us to be mindful of our surroundings; however, the exercises he gives me are all mindfulness meditation techniques! What am I supposed to believe?”
MS writes: “Is all mindfulness related to the Buddhist practice that is so popular today? I am a Catholic and I have been devoted to the practice of the presence of God and the sacrament of the present moment – which is also a kind of mindfulness. Are these Catholic versions related in any way to the Buddhist version?”
We have had so many questions about whether or not a Catholic can become involved in the practice of mindfulness that we embarked on a months-long study of this trendy new practice that has resulted in a lot more than just another blog. It became a new book entitled, A Catholic Guide to Mindfulness.
KB writes: “My husband practices this mindfulness type of meditation, including a body scan meditation. He does a shorter one in the morning, about 15 or 20 minutes, and the body scan in the afternoon, which takes about 45 minutes, for stress reduction and as a way of dealing with anxiety. The other day he chose to skip family prayer time in favor of this meditation . . . ” Read the rest…
MM asks: Is there anything wrong with Mindfulness Meditation? It sounds like it’s nothing more than living in the present moment. Could there be anything wrong with that?
FP writes: “A number of years ago a book was recommended to us by a physical therapist which I bought, but have been hesitant to read. It is titled, Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, published by Delta. The index presents mostly okay topics, but does have about 20 pp. favoring yoga . . . . Mentioned in the book are these persons’ names: Thich Nhat Hanh, Joan Borysenko, Phil Kapleu, amongst many others. The word mindfulness is mentioned many times. I’m just not sure about this book. Have you ever heard of it?”
ST asks: “What do you know about ‘mindfulness meditation.’™ Is it okay for hospitals to be using it on patients?”